Biomaterials engineering represents a specialty branch within the biomedical engineering field. Engineers within this arena develop natural and synthetic materials that can be used in health care. Biomaterials engineers require advanced knowledge in medicine and engineering, and are well compensated for their extensive education and skills.
As of May 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that biomedical engineers earn a mean salary of $40.76 per hour, which equates to approximately $84,870. The median wage for this profession is $39.20 per hour, or $81,540 per year over the same period. The highest 10 percent of earners averaged $126,990, while the lowest 10 percent received $49,690 per year.
Biomaterials engineers who manufacture medical equipment and supplies earn an average of $40.26 per hour, or $83,810 per year. Those in the research and development field earn $45.16 per hour, or $93.930 per year, while employees in pharmaceutical and medicine positions earn $39.81 per hour, or $82,810 per year.
Washington State University reports that biomaterials engineers can expect an average starting salary between $45,000 and $60,000 in 2011. North Carolina State University estimates that the starting salary for those with a bachelor's degree in this field is $54,291, while the University of Michigan estimates that those with a master's degree earn a starting wage of $76,400.
Salary By State
According to the BLS, biomaterials engineers in Alaska earn the highest average salary in the U.S. for this profession. As of May 2010, biomaterials engineers in Alaska earn a mean wage of $73.16 per hour, or $152,180 per year. Those in California receive the next highest wages in the country, with a mean salary of 45.89 per hour, or $95,450 per year. Minnesota, Massachusetts and Arizona round out the top five paying states for biomaterials engineering, with mean wages of more than $90,000 per year in each of these locations.
The University of Michigan estimates that the biomedical engineering field will experience 72 percent growth between 2008 and 2018. This represents a much higher growth rate than the average for other professions, and suggests that professionals within this field face excellent job prospects.